Inexplicable premonitions of self-mutilation and murder beset young Jake Gray (Jensen Ackles). Much to Jake’s surprise, his unsettling visions become grisly reality when he and his chums begin playing a new online video game dubbed “The Pathway”. In an attempt to end the nightmare, Jake joins forces with a dilettante in the occult (Shannyn Sossamon)… but the worst is yet to come.
Plot Rating: 2/5
The movie isn’t original, it’s more like a mashup of Jumanji and The Omen.
Jake Gray has strange dreams that are more like waking nightmares. He dreams of bloodshed and violence, and a woman in the woods attacking him. He has a tense relationship with his dad, but is devoted to his mother who suffers from severe muscle degeneration and is in a nursing home. Jake is a college student, and on his 21st birthday his friends take him out to party.
At the party they get Jake drunk, then one friend has the idea to sign Jake up for an online game called “The Pathway” that knows were players are at all times, and which gives them missions to do. Jake’s frustration with his evil boss and anger at his father are the center of “The Pathway’s” mission- but Jake himself never plays, his friends are given the missions based on what he wants.
Jake begins dreaming of self-mutilation, dreams that his friends eventually act out. He dives into the world of the occult in order to figure out what is going on, and to try and save his friends and himself while he still can.
The plot is one big raging mess. You get “the game is real life” of Jumanji and the satanic overtones of “The Omen”. It really is just a very badly written indy movie. Whenever the story gets slow you can bet a sex scene is coming (and they are just as abrupt and underdeveloped as the rest of the movie). On IMDB, in fact, most of the plot keywords are “Sex” with various adjectives in front of it. The ending is abrupt and, at that point, no surprise. It would make a good “Supernatural” episode (especially since series star Jensen Ackles is already in it), but can’t hold it’s own as a movie.
Acting Score: 2/5
Jensen Ackles always gets full marks, the man is an acting God. Shannyn Sossamon, who you may remember as the female lead in “A Knight’s Tale”, is excellent as Marisol, the beautiful occultist who helps Jake. Other than that though the performances are hit-and-miss (presumably because of the bad writing, but not entirely).
Characters come and go so fast that it is hard to keep track of them, let alone if they are good or evil. The big baddie the movie builds up to is done with in just a few minutes, and it really is a letdown.
Age Rating: 17+
The sex scenes are a bit strong, parent’s won’t like that, and the violence is extremely graphic. There isn’t much to say beyond that really. Language, Violence, Sex, across the board it has earned its “R”.
All the pictures you see of Jake growing up during the opening credits are real childhood pictures of Jensen Ackles.
The actor who plays Jake’s father is Alan Ackles, Jensen Ackles real-life father.